The popular ITV4 ‘Cycle Show’ included a segment on cycling safety in their programme that went out this week, on Thursday 16 July 2015.
The segment started with an introduction to issues faced by people who have chosen to cycle, including HGV dangers. That was followed by an interview in the studio between the host and Dr.Rachel Aldred, a senior lecturer in transport at Westminster University, and Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists.
Cyclists are just [like] the canary in the mineshaft: around 12 to 16 cyclists get killed a year in London, which is terrible, but 100 pedestrians and what is really shocking is that around 3500 die from inactivity diseases because they are afraid of cycling. So we see ourselves as a campaign to stop killing everybody.
So what we need is to invest money. The Dutch have invested something like £28 a year per person for nearly 40 years; we’re investing around £2. That is damaging our health and our economy.
Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists, has appeared on London Live TV as part of their ‘Headline Interview‘ series.
The interview begins with an overview of Donnachadh’s early career in ballet dancing and party politics; then from about 9 minutes in, Donnachadh discusses the impact of poor road infrastructure on the health of people, not only those who choose to cycle today but also people that walk and drive.
Cyclists are probably the smallest number of people who are dying on London streets. There’s around 100 pedestrians being killed every year…there are around 4000 people dying from pollution from our transport, there is around 3000 people dying from inactivity diseases.
The campaign for Stop Killing Cyclists is actually to save the lives of 7000 others who are not cyclists. It is to benefit the health of all Londoners because all Londoners are breathing pollution, and there is something like 2/3 of Londoners who are unfit.
Yesterday, the MET Police issued a correction to a press release they released on the day of the vigil for Michael Mason, who was struck by a person driving a car whilst he was cycling on Regent Street in February 2014.
Nicola Branch from Stop Killing Cyclists says:
Stop Killing Cyclists are horrified to learn of the awful treatment of the family of Mick Mason by the Met Police and we would recommend referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
To have been informed by a Press Release that that police would refer the case to the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], which although a bizarre and unconventional way of finding out, was a massive lift to the family, and now to have that hope whipped away from them equally through a Press Release, is an absolute disgrace.
The Met need to look very carefully how they deal with the family of a victim. They must be accountable for their actions.
Earlier on that day, the MET police stated in a press release that they had reacted to the family’s call for the case to be referred to the crown prosecution service. They stated: “The [Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards] DPS supported the Detective Inspector’s original decision, but have referred the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions.”
On budget day, the MET issued a correction to the press and media organisations before notifying the family or their solicitor:
CORRECTION: We have previously stated that the below matter was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. This is incorrect. No referral has been made.
Several members of Stop Killing Cyclists have written to their MPs to express their anger at the way the MET Police have handled the situation.
I’m writing about the appalling miscarriage of justice that continues to unfold over the killing, just over a year ago, of Michael Mason.
Can you and your colleagues bring any pressure to bear on the Metropolitain Police to desist from this farrago of incompetence and stupidity? As the old proverb has it, one should never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, but in this case…
It disgusts me how MET police have acted recently in this tragic case, let alone how they failed to act initially. Is there any pressure you can apply to get to bottom of their poorly timed press briefings, shocking behaviour to family (they learned of this through media) and failure to refer the case to CPS?
Reaction by other members can be found on the Stop Killing Cyclists Facebook discussion group HERE.
Statements from other organisations can be found in these articles:
On Friday, 13 March 2015, a ride, vigil and Die-In was held in conjunction with the Cyclist’s Defence Fund to remember Michael Mason who was killed in a crash on Regent Street a year earlier.
Mick was hit from behind by a car on 25 February 2014 and died in hospital 19 days later. The ride and vigil remembered not just Mick but also the many other people who have lost their lives on London’s roads and across the UK.
Thank you to everyone who came along tonight, particularly all the speakers, and especially to Mick’s daughter Anna Tatton Brown - a very powerful and moving speech. Also thank you again to the Met police who stopped the traffic, esp Seargent Paul Findlater who made sure all his officers took their caps off during the 2 minutes silence.
The coup of the night being so very welcome at All Souls Church, where we had great food, listened to wonderful Jazz music and our vigil and die-in and the message to make the roads safer for all, young and old, was incorporated into the sermon.
I spent my evening yesterday at the location of another road death, quietly contemplating with others all that is wrong with our streets and the miserable lack of UK road justice.
The police chose not to charge the driver and didn’t consult with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) before making their decision.
The event last night was organised by Stop Killing Cyclists and the Cyclists Defence Fund (CDF). The latter are helping Mick Mason’s family to get answers from the police as to why they didn’t discuss the case with the CPS and are thinking about possibly carrying out a private prosecution of the driver. The CDF has launched a fundraising appeal to ensure there are sufficient funds in the event that a private prosecution is needed.
(photo: Gosia Cyganowsa)
Flowers for Mick (photo: Gosia Cyganowsa)
For more of Joe’s photos, please see his website: COTCH DOT NET
(photo: Joe Dunckley)
Roger Geffen, CTC (photo: Joe Dunckley)
(photo: Joe Dunckley)
(photo: Brenda Puech)
Roger Geffen of CTC with Nicola Branch (photo: Brenda Puech)
Caroline Russell with Nicola Branch (photo: Brenda Puech)
Eddie Mair, host of the BBC Radio 4 news and current affairs programme ‘PM’, interviewed Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists, and Joe Irvin, Chief Executive of Living Streets, about the issue of police enforcement of pavement cycling.
Note: contrary to the introduction by Mr Mair, the origin of Stop Killing Cyclists was to build a peaceful but more radical approach to fighting for safer infrastructure for all of the city’s road users; and last November it was part of the Stop The Killing coalition calling making 10 Demands, one of which is Stop the Killing of Pedestrians.
In the programme, Donnachadh said:
What the policeman should have done was praise the parent for teaching the child to cycle in a non-dangerous way in a safe environment.
It isn’t a conflict between cyclists and pedestrians that we really have in this country. It is a conflict between cyclists and pedestrians [together] and the HGV road users.
The real problem in the UK is our politicians are refusing to invest in cycling safety: in Britain we spend £2 per person per year, in [the Netherlands] they spend £28. If we spent that on creating a network of physically protected, safe cycle routes across Britain then we wouldn’t be having this conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, we’d be on the same side.
The root of the problem is unsafe roads, and things like bringing down maximum speeds to 20mph in urban areas would be a big move in the right direction. It’s no doubt at all that HGVs and cars are the biggest [cause] of deaths and fatalities and that’s for people on the pavement.
On 9th January 2014, Robert Goodwill MP wrote to Donnachadh McCarthy to follow-up on points raised during a meeting he had with Baroness Susan Kramer earlier. In the letter, Mr Goodwill re-issued Ministerial Guidance on Pavement Cycling.
Some of the statistics highlighted by Donnachadh during the program are noted by the CTC in their briefing document: PEDESTRIANS.
In the 4 years 2009 to 2013, there was 1 pedestrian death involving a person cycling on the pavement or verge;
Whereas each year, on average, there were 34 pedestrians killed by vehicles.
That 1 death statistic rises to 14 when deaths anywhere are considered, for example on the road, when a person walks in front of person cycling;
And, the 34 deaths statistic rises to 1,245 when you consider pedestrians killed by people driving motorcars anywhere, not just on the pavement or verge.
For 2009-2013, the number of people walking who are seriously injured by person riding bicycle was 334;
Whereas, there were 20,181 seriously injured by a person driving a motor vehicle.
I want protected cycleways which is slightly different [to segregated cycleways]. I want the model they have in Holland [The Netherlands].
Also in the studio was Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA). In January, Mr McNamara stated on BBC London radio that his organisation is against the “Crossrail for Bikes” Cycle Superhighways across central London:
“We’re against it, lots of businesses are against it. We are considering a Judicial Review against the scheme in conjunction with Canary Wharf and others.”
Last night, Mr McNamara stated that he and his LTDA members are in favour of segregated cycleways but not money being spent on building them:
We are all for segregated cycling lanes, my members want segregated cycling [but] The Mayor is spending £1bn of money he hasn’t got in London on cycling, we questioned that.”
The fundamental problem is [that] London is the greatest city on the planet - you cannot implement a system in London identical to the one in Amsterdam - systems that work there won’t work in London, we haven’t got the road space for one…
Andrew D Smith, a speaker at Monday’s protest, stated today,
When LTDA say they want “segregated lanes” they mean the maze of disconnected fragments on back streets that don’t go anywhere, disappear at junctions so few people want to use them. The moment there’s a proposal for protected lanes that go somewhere useful - like Victoria Embankment or Elephant to Kings Cross, the LTDA fight it tooth and nail.
Campaigning group CyclingWorks.London has stated that over 170 London employers support the Cycle Superhighways scheme.
Jon Klaff, a member of Stop Killing Cyclists, commented on Facebook that, “Steve needs to go to Amsterdam when he comments on lack of road space. He might notice the big, wet things in the middle called ‘canals’. Amsterdam has less space than London. Then he brings up New York, a city that is on the verge of being redesigned around the bike. Basically, he has no facts and lots of opinions.”
Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists told BBC News on Monday at the protest,
Westminster Council has spent ZERO on protected cycle lanes over the last 5 years; And what we want is 10% of the budget spent on protecting people cycling to work and school. We are not asking for more money to be spent on transport - we asking for 10% of the existing budget to be spent on cycling.
Nicola concluded the interview with an invitation,
I would like Steve to come cycling with me but I think Steve is too scared to come cycling with me - many people are too scared to go cycling.
Later in the evening, Nicola tweeted that her invitation had been accepted,
Steve agreed to cycle round Elephant & Castle [with] a hand shake & witnessed by @kemenzerem [Keme Nzerem, Correspondent, Channel 4 News]
Steve McNamara confirmed in an article published in the LTDA’s trade magazine ‘Taxi’, that: “the LTDA has already instructed its lawyers to prepare the grounds for a legal challenge by judicial review.”
The London Cycling Campaign stated on 29 January 2015: “the LTDA (represented by Bob Oddy) and the Canary Wharf Group (Peter Anderson) – sit on the TfL Board, which must ratify [the Cycle Superhighway’s] funding. Indeed, the Canary Wharf Group PLC already has form– being behind a damaging and inaccurate behind-the-scenes briefing against the superhighway proposals.”
In the same issue of ‘Taxi’, the LTDA reaffirmed its policies which include: ‘a complete ban on pedicabs‘; and, ‘taxi access to all bus lanes‘. Ed.Note: people who choose to cycle are permitted to do so in many of London’s bus lanes.
Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists, made the business case for supporting London’s Cycle Superhighways on ‘Wake Up London’ at LondonLive breakfast TV this morning. He cycled to the studio.
A new, 15-minute documentary called ‘A Cycling Revolution‘ highlights the campaigning done by members of Stop Killing Cyclists and includes a segment shot at the recent National Funeral protest along Oxford Street.
Student filmmakers from the University of Westminster embarked on a journey to discover from campaigners, people on the street, and politicians like the Mayor of London and his cycling commissioner, what is being done to reduce road danger.
Their visit to Amsterdam is not to be missed - the reaction by locals to pictures of cycling in London is priceless!
Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists, had an early start to his day on 10th December 2014: a 7am TV interview on London Live…
There is a desire by the Mayor of London to “de-lycrafy” cycling - which appears to mean widening the appeal of choosing a bicycle as a means of transport.
Whereas many people may associate cycling with sport, there are many people that could - but currently don’t - hop on a bicycle for the journeys around town. A reason may be that the infrastructure (or lack of!) puts people off.
Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London, needs to tackle the appalling situation that an estimated 30% of the trucks on London’s roads are being driven in an illegally dangerous state or illegally driven.
His cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, twisted my fact about Boris targeting cyclists with fines at a rate 8 times higher than the trucks that are killing us, into a stat about all drivers, which is not what I said…..
I said the Mayor [Met Police] fined cyclists at a rate 8 times higher than the trucks that were killing us ( 4,000 fines for cyclists - 600 for trucks) - Gilligan attacked me saying I was wrong saying that they fined drivers 71% and Cyclists 29% and stating cyclists were 29% of inner London vehicles (?!!) but note he switched from TRUCKs to DRIVERS!!